An Idaho man who was accused of reckless driving Sunday night and of threatening to back his pickup truck into a Baker City Police car early Monday morning, while the officer was inside, could face more serious charges in the days to come due to the latter incident.
Scott J. Neilson, 47, of Murtaugh, Idaho, first was cited on the reckless driving charge about 9 p.m. Sunday. Police Chief Ray Duman said witnesses reported that Neilson was driving his 1992 Ford F150 pickup truck recklessly in the Super 8 Motel parking lot.
Witnesses said Neilson’s pickup struck a plastic garbage can in the parking lot and then turned westbound onto Campbell Street. He reportedly turned onto the westbound freeway ramp and then backed off the ramp and back to the motel.
Duman said officer Lance Woodward determined that Neilson was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when he cited him on the reckless driving charge.
Duman said only those suspects charged with Measure 11 crimes —physical crimes including murder and rape and that carry mandatory minimum prison terms — are being taken to the Baker County Jail due to coronavirus precautions.
The second incident took place at about 1 a.m. Monday. Duman said Neilson attempted to run over Woodward while the officer was driving his Baker City Police patrol car in uniform.
Duman said Woodward had been observing Neilson’s movements overnight because of the earlier incident. At one point, Neilson began backing his pickup truck toward the patrol car while Woodward was inside. The officer believed that Neilson was attempting to strike the patrol car, Duman said.
A second police officer arrived to arrest Neilson. He was handcuffed and taken to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center on a “police officer hold,” and mental health crisis workers were called, Duman said.
Neilson also was charged with recklessly endangering another person and attempting to assault a public safety officer during the Monday morning incident.
Duman said the information will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office for consideration of additional charges.